Airline Regulation to Deregulation; It’s Not Over Yet! 2005-01-3347
When I began my Aviation Career with Eastern Airlines in 1970, Eastern was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy in spite of the Regulated environment. Now, 35 years later, after finishing my airline career with United Airlines and Emery Worldwide Airlines, Eastern has long since faded away along with Braniff, Pan American and others. Now, in the twilight of Deregulation, most of the other original “trunk” airlines are either in bankruptcy or are now teetering on the brink. The only upstart that got it really right in the 35 years of airline history I have witnessed first hand has been Southwest. To paraphrase the words of a presidential candidate of the recent past, “It’s the productivity stupid!” or “It’s the esprit stupid!” as Herb Kelleher has proven. The only long term survivors of Deregulation will be the HPECs (High Productivity and Esprit Carriers), not the LCCs (Low Cost Carriers) as they like to class themselves or into which the remaining trunk carriers would like to morph themselves.